By Donna Cornelius
This year’s edition of Antiques at The Gardens has all the elements that have made the event so popular over the last 10 years: fascinating lectures, tasteful and creative displays, and opportunities to learn and to buy.
But the Birmingham Botanical Gardens fundraiser, set for Oct. 6-9, is always fresh and lively thanks to the people who participate as speakers, tastemakers, dealers and supporters.
Jeffrey Bilhuber, a high-profile interior designer, and floral designer Michael Grim will be sharing their know-how through the Red Diamond Lecture Series. Tastemakers, including both local and national experts, will curate themed areas at the event. Antiques dealers will come from all over the United States to show and sell their wares.
Getting a special tribute this year are Frances and Miller Gorrie, the 2016 Antiques at The Gardens honorees.
The Gorries have a long history of involvement with the Birmingham Botanical Gardens. Miller Gorrie’s company, Brasfield & Gorrie, built the Mary M. Blount Education Complex at the Garden Center. The project, completed in 1998, included the addition of the Linn-Henley Lecture Hall, the Friends of the Birmingham Botanical Gardens offices, the Hanna Center and the Library at the Gardens. The company established the torii gate, the entrance to the Japanese Gardens, in 1975.
Frances Gorrie worked with Bob Moody and Mary Carolyn Cleveland on additions to The Gardens in 1998, including meeting rooms, an orientation room and the space that now houses The Gardens Café by Kathy G. She had a leading role in the operations of the Gatehouse Gift Shop from 1989 to 1997. She followed her active involvement in The Gardens with the opening of Blackjack Gardens, a retail store adjacent to the family’s farm.
Speakers for the event’s Red Diamond Lecture Series always draw a crowd. One of those will be Michael Grim, who owns The Bridgehampton Florist in Bridgehampton, N.Y., in partnership with Jim Osborn. They offer in-home floral design services and event planning and provide holiday floral needs throughout the Hamptons. One of their largest annual events is the Hampton Classic Horse Show. Grim is regularly featured on Ina Garden’s “Barefoot Contessa” TV show on Food Network.
Also speaking will be Jeffrey Bilhuber, an interior designer who owns the New York City-based Bilhuber and Associates and has written four books on interior design.
Tastemakers for this year’s event are Jeff Dungan Architects, Grant Trick and Beth Webb Interiors; Cantley and Company; Margaret Kirkland Interiors; Pam Evans Interiors; Patina; and TMD Landscape Designs.
Dealers include Antique Cupboard, Barometer Fair, Caroline Faison Antiques, DR Grissom Estate and Fine Jewelry, Edwin C. Skinner Antiques, Embellish Antiques, Gallery 1930, George Getlik Fine Art, Hard to Find Goods, J&M Antiques, Lotz’s Antiques, Paige Albright Orientals, Pennoyer Newman Distinctive Garden Planters, Somerset Antiques, Southern Living, Thomas M. Fortner Antiques, Thompson House Antiques and Whitehall Antiques.
Proceeds from Antiques at The Gardens support educational programs at Birmingham Botanical Gardens. Since 2006, the event has raised more than $3 million for The Gardens.
To buy tickets, visit bbgardens.org/antiques or call 414-3950.
Antiques at The Gardens Schedule
Thursday, Oct. 6
9:30-11:30 a.m. – Tastebuds featuring Suzanne Pollack, author and founder of the Charleston Academy of Domestic Pursuits. Tickets are $25. The Pantry will provide lunch. This event is limited to 40 people under age 40.
7-11 p.m. – Gala in The Gardens. Tickets are $175 and include a black tie preview of the show, cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, music by To The 9’s and show readmission.
Friday, Oct. 7
10 a.m.-7 p.m. – Public show is open. Tickets are $15.
11 a.m. – Red Diamond Lecture Series featuring interior designer Jeffrey Bilhuber. Tickets are $40. A book signing follows at noon.
1 p.m. – Red Diamond Lecture Series featuring floral designer Michael Grim. Tickets are $30.
3 p.m. – Floral workshop with Michael Grim. Tickets are $150. The workshop is limited to 20 people.
5-7 p.m. – After Hours at The Gardens. This event is included in the general admission ticket price.
Saturday, Oct. 8
10 a.m.-5 p.m. – Public show is open. Tickets are $15.
9 a.m.-noon – Intro to Calligraphy by Holly Hollon. Tickets are $125. This event is limited to 20 people.
10 a.m. – Taste in Spades: Shop the Show with Eddie Ross, Better Homes and Gardens East Coast editor. Tickets are $75 and include a copy of his book, “Modern Mix.” This event is limited to 15 people.
Noon – Taste in Spades: A design panel/panel discussion featuring Better Homes and Gardens East Coast Editor Eddie Ross, interior designer Mark Sikes, and Gen and Ben Sohr from Pencil & Paper Company. Karen Carroll of Flower magazine is the moderator. Tickets are $35 and include lunch and show admission.
2 p.m. – Taste in Spades: Creating a Family Friendly Home with Personality, a presentation by Gen and Ben Sohr of Pencil and Paper Co. This event is included in the general admission ticket price.
3 p.m. – Taste in Spades: Presentation by Better Homes and Gardens East Coast Editor Eddie Ross. This event is included in the general admission ticket price.
Sunday, Oct. 9
11 a.m.-4 p.m. – Public show is open. Tickets are $15.